NE community leaders meet Kiren Rijiju, appeal to ensure safety of civilians in post ambush operation

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IMPHAL, June 9: A collective delegation from the Northeast Region of India met Union Minister of State, Kiren Rijiju on June 8 in North Block to appeal for his immediate intervention in the recent development in Chandel district in the aftermath of ambush on an Army convoy.

According to an emailed statement, the delegation led by David Boyes, Binalakshmi Nepram, Alana Golmei and Zuchamo Yanthan also submitted a memorandum demanding certain points for the safety of the innocent people of Chandel district.

At the same time the delegates also strongly condemned the ambush which left 18 soldiers dead and scores of others injured.

They also expressed deepest condolences to the departed Indian soldiers and shared the pain and sorrow of the bereaved families.

Meanwhile, the demands made to Ministry of State include presence of civil police, and women`™s representation in all military combing operations; deployment of state police including women police officers and setting up of booths in those areas to coordinate with the army while they carry out the operation.

Other demands include constitution of an immediate fact finding mission with immediate effect comprising the political parties, civil workers, both men and women and that the present crisis must not lead to further suffering of the civilian in the areas.

The MoS was also appealed to ensure peaceful combing operation without violating human rights bearing in mind the bitter memories and experiences of Oinam village in Manipur on July 11, 1987.

The memorandum said after the killing of nine soldiers by NSCN, a counter insurgency Operation Bluebird was launched in Oinam village on July 11, 1987.

During the operation, there were unimaginable massive human rights violations of rape, torture, illegal arrests and detention, burning and dismantling of homes, dismantling of schools and churches, looting of property and forced labour took placed), it said.

It further appealed to ensure the involvement of women in any peace process in Northeast India. There are presently 17 ongoing peace talks in the North East. However, not a single woman is included in the process, it said.

The statement also said that the Minister of Home for State, Kiren Rijiju has given his assurance that he will act on it and convey these concerns to concerned Ministers and authorities.

The Minister also added that the concerned State government must cooperate in this process and must also inform the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Defence Ministry of the steps that are being taken care of from the side of the state administration, it said.

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